"We were surprised at the effect of weight loss greater than 15 percent on blood vitamin D levels," said senior author Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Hutchinson Center's Prevention Center and principal investigator of the study. "It appears that the relationship between weight loss and blood vitamin D is not linear but goes up dramatically with more weight loss. While weight loss of 5 percent to 10 percent is generally recommended to improve risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars, our findings suggest that more weight loss might be necessary to meaningfully raise blood vitamin D levels."
About 70 percent of the participants had less-than-optimal levels of vitamin D when the study began; at baseline, the mean blood level of vitamin D among the study participants was 22.5 ng/mL. In addition, 12 percent of the women were at risk of vitamin D deficiency (blood levels of less than 12 ng/mL).
The optimal circulating range of vitamin D is thought to be between 20 and 50 ng/mL, according to a recent data review conducted by the Institute of Medicine, which found that blood levels under 20 ng/mL are inadequate for bone health and levels over 50 ng/mL are associated with potential adverse effects, such as an increased risk of developing kidney stones.
Vitamin D is naturally found in some foods, such as fatty fish, and is produced within the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. According to the Institute of Medicine, just 10 minutes of sun a day is enough to trigger adequate vitamin D production. The estimated average requirement via diet or supplementation is 400 international units per day for most adults.
"It is always best to discuss supplementation with your doctor, because circulating levels can
|Contact: Kristen Woodward|
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center